Snow Leopard Encounter in Nepal

  • 13 Days
  • 12 Nights

Snow leopards are found at altitudes between 9,800 and 17,000 feet in the high, rugged mountains of Central Nepal.

Snow Leopard

Trip Highlight

  • Snow Leopard Encounter in Nepal Himalayas
  • Massif Annapurna Mountains range with some of the world highest Mountains, Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,160 m), Mt. Manaslu (8,156 m) Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m).
  • Enjoy the accompaniment of an expert in wildlife throughout the event.
  • Trekking Excursions
  • Ancient monuments and monasteries
  • A complimentary meal with traditional Nepalese cuisine is a cultural live show.

 

Trip Facts
  • Trip Profile : Snow-leopard-Encounter-Tour-13-Days
  • Trip Type : Trek & Wildlife Tour
  • Trip Duration : 13 Days
  • Trip Route : Kathmandu- Besi Shahar, Chame, Manang
  • Trek Accomodation : Lodge - Hotel & Camping
  • Preferred Seasons : November- December- January & February
  • Transportation: 4WD Jeep & Private Car
  • Age Limit : No limits

Common Names “Snow Leopard” (English); 

‘Hiun Chituwa’ (Nepali), and Synonyms ‘Uncia uncia’.

Snow Leopard has a luxuriant pale Smokey-grey coat with dark grey rosettes and black spots on limbs and face.

The Snow leopards are the large cats inhabiting mostly the mountains of central and south Asia. They are distributed in mountains of countries like Nepal, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Mongolia, and Tibet. Only an estimated 3500 – 7000 Snow Leopards inhabit the wilds; while 600 -700 remain in captivity in zoos around the world. The IUCN has classified them as endangered due to habitat loss, global warming, and poaching. They reside in alpine and sub-alpine zones. As a result, they’re often located between 3,000 and 4,500 meters above sea level (9,800 – 14,800 ft).

Snow Leopard Encounter in Nepal is possible on the northern frontiers of Nepal. The mountain-protected areas of Nepal namely Annapurna Conservation Area, Shey Phuksundo National Park, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Manaslu Conservation Area, Makalu Varun National Park, Sagarmatha National park, Api Nampa Conservation Area, and Langtang National park are the habitat for these Himalayan cats in Nepal. There are an estimated 350 – 500 snow leopards in Nepal.

Snow Leopard - The ghost of the Mountain in Manang

Our main tracking trails in Manang are:

  1. Ice Lake trail (Acclimatization walk) (5-6 hrs)
  2. Agnu Milapche trail (6-8 hrs)
  3. Gunsang and Pripche trail (overnight in Gunsang) (6-8 hrs)
  4. Khangsar trail (overnight in Gunsang) (6-8 hrs)
  5. Yakharka trail (Overnight at Yakkharka) (6-8 hrs)
  6. Ledar trail (overnight at Ledar) (6-8 hrs)

Fixed Departure Date – 2023

Snow Leopard Encounter in Nepal! Well, Nepal has a completely untrodden and unexplored trail! There must be a minimum of 2 people. Season and group size will affect the final cost. Please contact us for your personal quote.

Snow Leopard Encounter in Nepal trip itineraries are customizable; according to your choice & the number of days you want to stay. Simply, Contact Us

Tour Plan

1

Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel

See for yourself if all that you have read and watched on the internet, about the tranquil beauty of Nepal and the warm hospitality of Nepalese. After flying through the beautiful view of these trekkers' paradise, you will meet our company representative at the airport. You must have an impatient heart for a breathtaking adventure. Get ready to experience Nepal up close and personal. But first, we will transfer you to your hotel.

If you have an early arrival, you may stroll around the hippest and most happening area in Thamel, where you can find restaurants with varieties of cuisine to dine. This first night in the country, you will be staying in Kathmandu.


 

2

Sightseeing to major historical places in Kathmandu Valley and preparation day

On your second day, you can go sightseeing in some of the famous religious and historical sites of Kathmandu.  After exploring this city of temples; you will meet your tour guide at the hotel. You will be briefed in detail about the wildlife adventure. The guide will also assist you with any last-minute shopping that you require for the safari.

Have a well-rested night at Kathmandu before heading off to the wildlife.

(You can dump the stuff you do not want during the trek at the hotel or our office store.)


 

3

Drive from Kathmandu to Besi Shahar - 830 m

After a good morning meal you will be traveling to Besisahar, the entry point of Annapurna Circuit Trekking. A private van will be waiting for you at the hotel parking hop on and get ready to ride. Once you leave Kathmandu Valley through the check post at Nagdhunga, the ride will be exciting. The road might be bumpy with lots of twists and turns.

However, the eagerness for adventure and the views of the hills, forests, and terraced farmlands will make it a noteworthy experience. Pulling over occasionally for tea/coffee, snacks and toilet breaks you will drive through Dhading, Chitwan, and Tanahu districts to reach Lamjung. 6-7 hours of this fun-filled ride will take you to Besisahar. You can spend the rest of the evening taking a rest and preparing for the next day.


 

4

Drive from Besi Shahar to Chame - 2,725 m

Wake up early in the morning, enjoy breakfast at the lodge and resume the ride to Chame. Today you will drive for 7-8 hours on Besisahar -Chame Highway along the Marsyangdi River. Following the river, the road will lead you through Upper Marsyandhi Hydropower Project to Bhulbhule (820 m). If the weather favors then you can get your first glance of the mountains from Bhulbhule. A glimpse of Ngadi Chuli (7,871 m) Himal Chuli North (7,331 m) and Himal Chuli (7,893 m) will definitely entice you for more. Ride through Bahundanda stopping over at Chamche waterfall for some clicks.         

Ride through the stone entrance at Dharapani (1,810 m) to beautiful villages and serene forests of pine and oak. Along with the miraculous views of  Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, and Annapurna II where the Himalayan Cats live. On the way, you will see the long wall with prayer wheels at Danakyu (2,220 m). Riding through the village of Timang (2,620 m), Thanchok (2,660 m), and Koto (2,660 m) you will reach Chame. 


 

5

Drive from Chame to Manang - 3,500 m /Rest day

On this day you will ride to Manang which will take 2-3 hours. This day in Manang is perfect to wear off your travel exhaustion and prepare for the trek. While at Manang, you can spend your day exploring the village of Manang and experience their unique culture and lifestyle. Gurungs and Ghales are the inhabitants of Manang. These people depend on tourism and agriculture for their livelihood. However, the cold climate limits them to cultivate only wheat, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, and beans. The view of Gangapurna Glacier is terrific, either from the viewpoint above the lake or from the Praken Gompa, an hour's walk above Manang in the evening. 

If you want to spend the rest day without doing much walking then there are places like Manang Cultural Museum, Bodzo Gumba, and cafes with better food options and internet. Manang is a major trading center and you can buy batteries, sunscreen, and chocolate.  

Tashi R. Ghale (an inhabitant of the region & leading guide for this trek) has more than 20 years of encounter in wildlife photography in the valley and has sighted snow leopards. In the evening, he will give us a slide show presentation about mammals, birds, and reptiles. 


 

6-10

Trek and track Snow leopard

After Pisang, we have alternate paths north and south of the Marsyangdi River that meets up again at Mungji. The southern route by Hongde, with its airstrip, at 3325m involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru, despite the fact that there are better views on the trail that follows the northern bank of the river. From Mungji, the trail continues past the quaint but partially hidden village of Bryanga at 3475m to nearby Manang at 3500m.

Walking along the valley through the drier upper part of Manang (the unofficial trekking capital of the Annapurna Circuit) we can view the Annapurna range. People of this area herd yaks and raise crops for leaving, besides this during winter they move to other places for trades.

Our main tracking trail would be: 

  • Ice Lake trail (Acclimatization walk) (5-6 hrs)
  • Agnu Milapche trail (6-8 hrs)
  • Gunsang and Pripche trail (overnight in Gunsang) (6-8 hrs)
  • Khangsar trail (overnight in Gunsang) (6-8 hrs)
  • Yakharka trail (Overnight at Yakkharka) (6-8 hrs)
  • The Ledar trail (overnight at Ledar) (6-8 hrs)

 

11

Drive back to Besi Shahar

After the completion of our trip of Encountering Snow Leopard, we will return back to Besisahar by private 4WD Jeep. 


 

12

Drive back to Kathmandu

After this wonderful trip, you will drive back to Kathmandu from Besisahar

Once you reach Kathmandu you will check-in at a nice hotel around the Thamel area. At the evening you can stroll around for souvenir shopping, drinks, and dinner. Walking around Thamel and nearby areas for shopping and self-exploring the narrow streets of this tourist hub is a good idea to spend your evening in Kathmandu.

13

Final Departure

We will drop you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Tiger Encounter hopes to take you to another exciting wildlife safari in Nepal soon.

Cost Detail

Trip Includes
  • All necessary airport arrival departure as per the itinerary.
  • 3 nights luxuries hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (5-star category hotel) with BB plan.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu by private transportation.
  • Private 4WD Land Cruiser transportation including Kathmandu to Manang via Besisahar, Chame (for 3 days - start). 
  • Two-night luxury accommodation in Besisahar with BB plan, and 1-night accommodation in Chame.
  • 6 Night accommodation with attached rooms in Manang. 
  • 3 meals a day during the trekking (Tea, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) you can choose from the Menu, is unlimited. 
  • All programs as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private 4WD Land Cruiser transportation from Manang to Kathmandu (for 2 days - end)
  • Insurance for Nepalese staff. (Guide and driver)
  • Guide and porter fares and taxes. Government Tax and office service charge.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and TIMS card.
  • All snow leopard tracking activities expenses
  • All the necessary permits
  • One dedicated guide to Snow Leopard tour entire the trip (Manang to Manang)
  • One guide from Kathmandu to Kathmandu and his salary
  • Basic medical kits
  • Welcome or farewell dinner in Kathmandu
Trip Excludes
  • International airfare to/ from Nepal.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Insurance covers, medical, emergency evacuation, loss, etc.
  • Beverages, alcoholic drinks, and mineral water during the trekking.
  • All food and beverages are other than on the itinerary. 
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
  • Personal gear and expenses.
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
     

Location Detail

Tour Location

Description of the Location

Manang is located in the Himalayan region of the Western part of Nepal where the snow leopard encounter is done. To reach there you should travel from Kathmandu to Besisahar to Chame to Manang in 3 days with 6 to 8 hours a day.


Train Yourself

Best physical condition is required to trek in Nepal’s high altitude. Without some pre-trek training or a good level of basic fitness, it can be hard. We suggest running, walking, hiking on the hill, and climbing stairs rather than elevators to prepare for the trek. Include swimming, rowing, and biking in your daily base training.

Basic further experience and strength required for Trekking

  1. One should be able to hike for 6-7 hours a day.
  2. One should be able to carry 4 kg in a backpack for preparation.
  3. We suggest you run about 3/4 miles in the home for the preparation with some load on your back for 1 to 2 months to make your Snow leopard trek much easier. Or use a treadmill for everyday running and walking.
  4. If you have a rugged location/mountain then once a week you should go hiking with a loaded bag pack on your back. If you do not have mountains and high hills then use stairs to go up/down than the elevator.
  5. Regular swimming, biking, and rowing are also good ways to maintain your physical strength.

 


We will meet pickup you from Internatinal Airport:

We organized Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) airport pick-up and drop service. Upon your arrival, you are welcomed and greeted at your arrival gate (Holding your name on the company pamphlet- Tiger Encounter) by our representative member from a company, then transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu. For departure transfer, we will come to pick you up at your hotel in Kathmandu and take you to the airport for your international flight.

As per our plan, we’ll provide you with domestic departure and arrival as per the flight schedule.


Passport & Visa: 

All foreigners except Indian nationals must have a valid visa to enter Nepal. Visa is available on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport upon entry in Kathmandu, Nepal, and at Nepal borders of India and Tibet. Visa can be easily extended to the central immigration office. www.immigration.gov.np Visa application requires a passport with at least 6 months until expiration and one passport-size photo.

The current cost of a visa for 15 Days – 30 USD, 30 Days – 50 USD, and 90 Days – 125 (to be paid in cash) Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. Other nationalities should check entry requirements. Visitors are requested to specify return flight tickets, and the time intended to stay in Nepal.

Visa Extension Fee: Tourist visa extension is done for a minimum of 15 days with USD 45 and USD 3 per day for additional days. In the case of a delay of less than 150 days additional USD 5 per day as of late fine.


Safety precautions for Annapurna Conservation Areas:

Aside from geographical protection, Tiger Encounter has taken safety in following things to make travel as safe as possible making the most out of it without any worry!

  1. Our guides have received extensive wilderness first-aid training.
  2. Tour leaders and guides have years of wildlife experience and can help you if there is any kind of uneasiness and assure happiness & satisfaction are guaranteed.
  3. We’ll have High-quality masks & Gloves with sanitizers for everyday use throughout the journey for the Tiger Encounter team assisting you.
  4. Encouragement and inspiration can be a regular occurrence.
  5. Food and accommodation in the national park would be rechecked for additional hygiene.

 

Basic Facts about Snow Leopards

Characteristics

The snow leopards have thick light grey fur with a black spot on the head and neck. Their tails are bushy and long while the legs are short, making them slightly smaller than other wild cats. The short legs are powerful enough to leap and jump as far as 50 feet. Likewise, the long bushy tails are useful for balancing and covering sensitive parts against severe mountain chills. They are about 22 inches tall and 30 – 59 inches long weighing between 22 – 55 kg however some large males have been recorded weighing up to 75 kg. They have 1.13 inches long pointed teeth.

Alpine Adaptations

The Snow leopards are highly adaptive to their habitat in the cold mountains. Their ears are small and round to minimize heat loss. Likewise, their paws are aboard to balance the body weight of walking on snow. Similarly, their thick fur patterned with dark rosettes and spots is the perfect camouflage for their rocky habitat. The long dense and woolly fur also protects them from cold. They also use their bushy tails as a blanket while resting.

Diet and Hunting

The snow leopards are an opportunist and feed on carrion as well. However, these carnivorous cats actively hunt their prey. They are capable of killing most of the animals in their range. They pursue the prey down the steep mountainsides. Using the momentum of their leap they kill with a bite on the neck and drag the prey to a safer location to eat.

Their natural prey is Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, wild goats, etc. They usually prefer prey weighing 36 to 76 kg but also hunt smaller mammals. Other species such as wild boar, red panda, and snowcock also become their prey sometimes. They eat all the edible parts of their prey and can survive on one Himalayan tahr for two weeks. Due to the loss of prey animals in their natural habitat, they also feed on domestic livestock resulting in conflict with the herders. They hunt in pairs, especially during mating season.

Reproduction and lifecycle

Snow leopards reach their sexual maturity at the age of two to three. They normally live for 15-18 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. They usually mate in a mate in late winters; the mating seasons are short, so the male does not seek another partner. They mate 12 to 36 times a day. The gestation period is 90-100 days and the litter size varies from one to five cubs. These younger snow leopards open their eyes after almost 7 days of birth and can walk when they are five. They are born with a thick coat of fur and have full black spots that turn into rosettes as they grow.

The cubs remain with their mother for almost 18-22 months. After being independent they distance themselves to seek out new hunting grounds. The gestation period is 90-100 days and the litter size varies from one to five cubs. These younger snow leopards open their eyes after almost 7 days of birth and can walk when they are five. They are born with a thick coat of fur and have full black spots that turn into rosettes as they grow. The cubs remain with their mother for almost 18-22 months. After being independent they distance themselves to seek out new hunting grounds.


The Meals During the Snow Leopard Trek: 
Our trek takes us to high altitudes around 3,500m to 4,700m, which means your body will need enough starch, protein, and nutrition, as food is the body’s fuel for hiking on such massive Himalayan trails. The food on this trek is very convenient, but not as convenient as it is in cities.

There will be Breakfasts, Lunch, Dinners, Tea & coffee will be provided on the hotel. The popular menu items are:-

Breakfasts – (Oatmeal, Corn Flakes, French toast with Jam, Butter, Cheese, and Honey Tibetan bread or Chapati Local tsampa porridge, Hashed brown eggs, Varieties of eggs (Omelets) Pancakes Muesli Breads Fruits and Vegetables Hot drinks like varieties of teas and coffees Hot chocolates, etc)

Lunch – (Dhal, Bhat & Tarkari (Dal Bhat power 24 hours) Tibetan Bread Various Soups items Sherpa Stew Steaks Sandwiches Momo (dumplings) Macaroni dishes Tenduk Spaghetti Noodles Thukpa Pasta Vegetable curry Potatoes items Vegetable and salad Pizza (Tomato, Mushroom, Mixed) Snakes (Papad, Prawn) Desserts items (Rice Pudding, Apple pie), etc)

Dinners – ( Dhal, Bhat & Tarkari Tibetan Bread Various Soups items Sherpa Stew Steaks Sandwiches Momo (dumplings) Macaroni dishes Tenduk Spaghetti Noodles Thukpa Pasta Vegetable curry Potatoes items Vegetable and salad Pizza (, Tomato, Mushroom, Mixed) Snacks (Papad, Prawn) Pokada, finger chips, etc.

Dessert items – (Rice Pudding, Apple pie), Hard Drinks Steaks, etc.) are available on the menu during the trek.

The best items from the lodge’s menu are fresh, hygienic, delicious, and nutritious. Almost everywhere on the menu, there is a mix of typical local, Asian, and western cuisine, but as we get closer, the menu list will be shortened. We highly recommend liquids green tea, lemon tea, hot lemon, ginger tea, garlic soup, etc. at high altitude and also fresh vegetable items for health benefits.

Note: Manang - Hotel Mountain Lake will be our base camp. In addition to bringing a packed lunch with us, we will have breakfast and dinner at the hotel.

Just Fill and Book

This is a pre-booking form for the lead traveler. We would send you the actual booking form after the confirmation








    Frequently asked questions

    • Will someone come after my arrival to pick me up at the airport?
      Yes, Trekkers Paradise representative will be there to greet you outside of Terminal Hall. He will be displaying Tiger Encounter name card with your name on it. You will be moved to the pre-select Hotel after that.
    • Do I need a visa to travel to Nepal?
      All foreign nationals, except Indian Citizens, need visas to enter Nepal.
    • How many years does a snow leopard live?
      Snow leopards normally live for 15 – 18 years in the wild but can live up to 25 years in zoos.
    • What are the countries, where snow leopards are found?
      Snow leopards are found across 12 countries in Central Asia. They are Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • What do we do if we cannot see snow leopard in whole day?
      We generally have more than two days just for snow leopard tracking. If we don’t see any leopards in first day then we will move to another leopard area in next day. Similarly our days can be increased this way until we finally see snow leopard.
    • How rare are Snow Leopards?
      Approximately 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards are left in the wild, with 600-700 in zoos around the world, very rare in most of their range.
    • What is another word for a Snow Leopard?
      Alternate Snow Leopard Synonyms: ounce ; Panthera uncia ; big cat ; cat.
    • Does pollution affect Snow Leopards?
      Climate change can affect snow leopards, If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase steadily, the treeline shift may cause 30 percent of the snow leopard habitat in those mountains to be lost.

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